SUP n Surf Retreat

SUP n’ Surf Retreat | World Champion Coaches Introduce New SUP Training Program In Paradise


US SUP Team coach Ian Cairns and ISA SUP surfing gold-medalist Sean Poynter introduce luxury paddling retreat in Punta Mita, Mexico


What does it take to elevate your expertise to the highest level possible? How do you transform your skill set from elementary to exceptional?

The simple answer is practice. 10,000 hours of practice to become a master, according to popular theory. But for those who don’t have 10,000 hours to dedicate solely to standup paddling (that’s nearly three hours a day, every day, for ten years), quality mentorship is the key to unlocking the upper echelons of one’s SUP skill. To take your standup paddling to the next level in hyper speed, ISA gold-medalists Ian Cairns and Sean Poynter's SUP n' Surf Retreat at The Royal Suites by Palladium is an option worth considering.

"The idea behind SUP n' Surf Retreat is to provide any paddler who's serious about improving performance with access to personalized SUP instruction from the best coaches in the business, in a premium location that's perfectly suited for teaching and learning SUP," Poynter told SUP the mag. "Whether you're a seasoned pro or a first-time paddler, our retreat is a way to accelerate your ability beyond what's typically possible."

Cairns himself is a former member of the Bronzed Aussies who helped pioneer professional surfing alongside fellow legends like Peter Townend, Mark Richards, Mark Warren and Shawn Tomson before transitioning to a career as a surf and SUP coach. He developed his teaching strategy for the retreat through years spent as a surf coach—first for world champion surfers like Tom Curren, Lisa Anderson and Sunny Garcia, and more recently for the US SUP team, which won the 2015 ISA World Championships in SUP surfing last May.

"My teaching method is three-part," Cairns told SUP. "I focus on strategy—how to position yourself and choose waves in the lineup; skills—how to ride a wave once you've caught it; and attitude—how to maintain a positive outlook on your SUP experience. I've found I can have a profound impact on a surfer who's willing to learn, even in the crummiest, tiniest waves."

Poynter is living proof of the merits of Cairns' world-class instruction. Born in Ohio to parents who'd hardly spent a day in their lives on the ocean, Poynter  started training under Cairns a few years back. Within a decade of picking up the paddle, he’s transformed into one of the world's top-10 SUP surfers. With Cairns’ coaching, Poynter is now as close to mastery as anyone in the game, and while he clocks more SUP time than most, he's still shy 10,000 hours.

Poynter and Cairns’ strategy behind SUP n' Surf Retreat is straightforward: take a group of aspiring paddlers passionate about improving their abilities and isolate them for one week in a paradisiacal environment. Provide them with premium accommodations on and off the water so they can focus entirely on the task at hand—progressing their paddling prowess. Place them in friendly, uncrowded, warm-water waves for multiple sessions every day, side-by-side with two of the best teachers on earth. During those sessions, film each participant's session, then individually analyze every turn from every session with input from Cairns and Poynter and take what they learn back to the surf to practice. Repeat this process each day for a week, and Cairns says, “Anyone, of any skill level, will enjoy a week with us at this retreat and leave with a skill set that will make them a much better standup paddle surfer. Period.”

SUP n' Surf is partnering with The Royal Suites by Palladium—a 5-star resort with more 56 locations across the globe—to host the getaway in a luxury environment intimately personalized to cater to each attendee. The inaugural retreat, which will be hosted at Palladium's premier facility in Punta Mita, Mexico, October 12 through 17, features all-inclusive accommodations, an array of activities for the family members, a boat shuttle to carry paddlers to nearby breaks, and access to the resort’s bountiful offerings, in addition to the education in SUP. As if that’s not enough, word on the water is Palladium’s staff makes one heck of a margarita.

Visit the SUP n' Surf website to contact Poynter and Cairns personally and reserve your spot before space runs out!

SUP n’ Surf Retreat’s Facebook page.

See what Sean Poynter does with just a day and a half in Mexico.

Ian Cairns talks SUP n Surf Inspiration